10:7 But when you assemble the community, 1 you must blow, but you must not sound an alarm. 2
15:15 One statute must apply 5 to you who belong to the congregation and to the resident foreigner who is living among you, as a permanent 6 statute for your future generations. You and the resident foreigner will be alike 7 before the Lord.
16:3 And they assembled against Moses and Aaron, saying to them, “You take too much upon yourselves, 8 seeing that the whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the community of the Lord?”
19:20 But the man who is unclean and does not purify himself, that person must be cut off from among the community, because he has polluted the sanctuary of the Lord; the water of purification was not sprinkled on him, so he is unclean.
20:4 Why 10 have you brought up the Lord’s community into this wilderness? So that 11 we and our cattle should die here?
20:6 So Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting. They then threw themselves down with their faces to the ground, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them.
20:10 Then Moses and Aaron gathered the community together in front of the rock, and he said to them, “Listen, you rebels, 12 must we bring 13 water out of this rock for you?”
20:12 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust me enough 14 to show me as holy 15 before 16 the Israelites, therefore you will not bring this community into the land I have given them.” 17
1 tn There is no expressed subject in the initial temporal clause. It simply says, “and in the assembling the assembly.” But since the next verb is the second person of the verb, that may be taken as the intended subject here.
2 sn The signal for moving camp was apparently different in tone and may have been sharper notes or a different sequence. It was in some way distinguishable.
3 sn This action of Moses and Aaron is typical of them in the wilderness with the Israelites. The act shows self-abasement and deference before the sovereign
4 tn Heb “before all the assembly of the congregation.”
5 tn The word “apply” is supplied in the translation.
6 tn Or “a statute forever.”
7 tn Heb “as you, as [so] the alien.”
8 tn The meaning of רַב־לָכֶם (rab-lakhem) is something like “you have assumed far too much authority.” It simply means “much to you,” perhaps “you have gone to far,” or “you are overreaching yourselves” (M. Noth, Numbers [OTL], 123). He is objecting to the exclusiveness of the system that Moses has been introducing.
9 tn The use of הֵן (hen) and the perfect tense in the nuance of a prophetic perfect expresses their conviction that they were bound to die – it was certain (see GKC 312-13 §106.n).
10 tn Heb “and why….” The conjunction seems to be recording another thing that the people said in their complaint against Moses.
11 tn The clause uses the infinitive construct with the lamed (ל) preposition. The clause would be a result clause in this sentence: “Why have you brought us here…with the result that we will all die?”
12 tn The word is הַמֹּרִים (hammorim, “the rebels”), but here as a vocative: “you rebels.” It was a harsh address, although well-earned.
13 tn The word order and the emphasis of the tense are important to this passage. The word order is “from this rock must we bring out to you water?” The emphasis is clearly on “from this rock!” The verb is the imperfect tense; it has one of the modal nuances here, probably obligatory – “must we do this?”
14 tn Or “to sanctify me.”
sn The verb is the main word for “believe, trust.” It is the verb that describes the faith in the Word of the
15 sn Using the basic meaning of the word קָדַשׁ (qadash, “to be separate, distinct, set apart”), we can understand better what Moses failed to do. He was supposed to have acted in a way that would have shown God to be distinct, different, holy. Instead, he gave the impression that God was capricious and hostile – very human. The leader has to be aware of what image he is conveying to the people.
16 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”
17 tn There is debate as to exactly what the sin of Moses was. Some interpreters think that the real sin might have been that he refused to do this at first, but that fact has been suppressed from the text. Some think the text was deliberately vague to explain why they could not enter the land without demeaning them. Others simply, and more likely, note that in Moses there was unbelief, pride, anger, impatience – disobedience.